The Summer Groove recently celebrated its 13th year raising funds for programs supported by both Alonzo Mourning Charities and Wade’s World Foundation. It has truly evolved into quite the mega-star-studded summer showcase here in South Florida.
Former Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning once again joined forces with former teammate and good friend Dwayne Wade to celebrate the 13th annual Summer Groove, formerly known as Zo’s Summer Groove.
Events included an All-Star Basketball game, a youth summit, a block party, a star-studded dinner banquet and a comedy show.
Friday night, July 10 kicked off the annual comedy showcase fundraiser headlined by comedian, actor and one of the Original Kings of Comedy: Cedric the Entertainer, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood.
Best known for his unforgettable roles in films such as Barbershop with Ice Cube, Be Cool with John Travolta, Kingdom Come, the animated feature Madagascar, Intolerable Cruelty with George Clooney, and The Original Kings of Comedy, Cedric easily filled up the theater with surprise celebrity friends and guests.
“His name speaks for itself..he’s one of the greatest entertainers on the face of this earth…by him being here he’s creating a fun-filled atmosphere..and I think everybody everyday…should smile and should laugh,” Mourning told the South Florida Times.
Fellow Heat player Shawn Marion added delightfully, “I want to laugh.. I’m ready to fall out of my seat.”
Mourning added, “Laughter is good for the soul…laughter is healing…and by creating this particular atmosphere here tonight…where we generate funds to provide educational opportunity for kids, we’re teaching people how to give and at the same time giving a good time.”
A good time indeed: After comedians Malik S., Aries Spears and a few other talented comics took the stage, Cedric the Entertainer came out with a bang. From jokes about growing up to dealing with crazy family members, Cedric had everyone standing in applause by the end of his set.
It’s not only the belly aching laughs and good times that keep the celebrities coming to The Summer Grove events year after year. Actress Gabrielle Union has been a long-time supporter of Zo’s Summer Groove and continues to lend her star power to the efforts of encouraging and motivating South Florida youth. ”A lot of the kids ask me some deep questions and I try to answer as honestly as possible and tell them you have to try to make the best of what God has given you and try to be comfortable in your own skin…it’s what I strive to do every day,’’ Union told the South Florida Times.
NBA basketball player Carmelo Anthony supports Mourning’s efforts because he knows firsthand the importance of being a positive role model.
“Anything to do with kids, I’m there,” Anthony, a forward for the Denver Nuggets, told the South Florida Times. “If I could help one child…I feel like I did my job…I’m even in the works to put together the Carmelo Anthony Foundation.”
Photo courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock. Cedric the Entertainer